Redskins 'didn't show up' against 49ers
Game Recap: The Redskins’ playoff hopes had probably been extinguished before Monday night’s 27-6 loss to Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers.
But if there was any lingering doubt, Kaepernick’s three touchdown performance pretty much clinched it: the competitive portion of the Redskins’ season, in all likelihood, is over.
With the loss—Washington’s third in a row and fourth in five games—the Redskins’ record dropped to 3-8. The 49ers, meantime, improved to 7-4 and kept pace with the Cardinals for the final playoff spot in the NFC.
The Redskins did not really give themselves much of a chance against the Super Bowl runners up. The 49ers opened a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, then midway through third quarter Kaepernick connected with Anquan Boldin to stake the visitors to 17-6 advantage the Redskins would not challenge. It was the second touchdown for Boldin.
Robert Griffin III and the Redskins’ struggling offense, meantime, never got into sync. Facing the NFL’s third ranked defense on a chilly night at FedEx Field, Griffin was sacked four times for a loss of 37 yards, while the Redskins’ offense mustered only 190 yards (only 30 in the second half). Alfred Morris amassed just 54 yards on 14 carries.
With the playoffs out of reach, the only question left to answer is what will become of the final five games of the Redskins’ 2013 season. Will they show some grit down the stretch and rally around their embattled quarterback and coaching staff? Or will bail and allow the season to spiral out of control?
Key Moment: In the third quarter, nose tackle Barry Cofield stripped the ball from 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. The fumble was recovered by safety Brandon Meriweather at the San Francisco 49-yard line. But instead of parlaying the turnover into points, the Redskins went 4-and-out after Roy Helu was stopped short on a fourth down run. Six plays later, Kaepernick connected with Boldin for the duo’s second touchdown of the night, putting the 49ers ahead, 17-6.
Player of the Game: Kaepernick. The 49ers’ signal caller had been slumping but the Redskins’ defense helped him snap out of it. He completed 14 of his 25 pass attempts for 235 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. In the previous two games—both losses—Kaepernick was just 18 of 53 passing (52.8-percent) for 218 yards.
Roster Update: Nick Williams’ tenure as the Redskins’ punt returner appears to have lasted only one game. Although the rookie wide receiver was active, Coach Mike Shanahan turned to the sure-handed veteran Santana Moss. Moss retuned just one punt for 13 yards. His experience and attention to detail, though, was apparent early as he slowed the 49ers’ coverage team on San Francisco’s first punt, allowing the ball to bounce into the end zone for a touchback.
Injury Update: Defensive end Stephen Bowen (knee) and fullback Darrel Young (hamstring) were among the inactives for the Redskins. Kedric Golston started in Bowen’s place, while tight end Niles Paul stepped in for Young.
From the Locker Room:
Coach Mike Shanahan on Griffin: “He’s surely not going to have the game down, without an offseason program, going into the second year. Every game is going to be a learning experience.”
--Robert Griffin’s father came into the locker room and had a long, involved discussion with his son. He also attended RG3’s press conference. It’s notable only because it’s unusual for a player’s family members to enter the locker room.
--London Fletcher: “Every man has to look at himself individually and say, ‘What can I do better? What can I do get this thing turned around?' Nobody is happy sitting here at 3-8. This is unacceptable.”
--Josh Wilson on getting beat by Boldin: “He was able to pull some balls in, that I felt like I was right there. I take my hat off to him. He’s a great receiver.”
--Vernon Davis on returning to his native Washington: “Very nice homecoming. Anytime you get a victory, it’s always nice, especially at home.”
--Kedric Golston: “We have to persevere. This business is year-to-year, week-to-week, day-to-day. Last year doesn’t buy you anything. Obviously, this year so far has been disappointing. We had high hopes coming off what we did last year….The onus is on us.”